GERMANY - " A researcher’s haven "
Germany is top choice for Indians who wish to pursue
The country’s USP
Germany is a leader in Science and Technology. No
wonder most Indians landing in Germany are research and
post-doctoral aspirants in Engineering. What makes German
education attractive is that it is practice-oriented. Many
universities require students to compulsorily take up an
internship, also called industrial placements that may or
may not be paid, as part of their programme. Else students
are not allowed to sit for their final exams. Certain
programmes like International Business Administration
require applicants to have done a pre-study internship. Even
otherwise, pupils are encouraged to go for voluntary
internship that can help them put their aptitude on trial or
explore a different career option.
Hot for what?
According to official data for 2003, Engineering
remains the top subject choice of Indian students (47 per
cent) in Germany, followed by Mathematics and natural
sciences (34 per cent); Law, Economics and Social Studies (8
per cent); Language and Civilisation studies (five per
cent); Medicine (3.5 per cent); veterinary Medicine,
Forestry, agro-and nutritional science (2 per cent); and
arts, music ad sports (0.5 per cent).
1. University of Stuttgart
2. University of Dortmund
3. Technical University Darmstadt
4. University of Applied Science Karlsruhe
5. Technical University Berlin
The winter semester starts in October (major intake
for all subjects and universities) and the summer semester
in April (minor intake, only for limited subjects and
Standardised tests scores
A SAT score is required for entry to an
undergraduate programme. TOEFL or IELTS scores are also
mandatory. Universities offering postgraduate programmes in
Engineering may ask for GRE scores and those offering MBA
degree may look for GMAT-qualified candidates.
Till a year or so ago, state-funded universities did
not charge any tuition fees as they were borne by German
taxpayers, However, the German Supreme Court ruled in
January 2005 that individual federal states are free to
decide whether they want to introduce tuition charges.
Consequently, nine states have so far introduced fees that
range from 200 to 600 euros (Rs 10,834 – Rs 32,504) a
semester in state-financed institutions (90 per cent of
German universities are government-run).
Students can live on – or off-campus Putting up in
student dormitories, subsidized by the government,
definitely costs less than private housing.
Cost of living: living expenses, including
living, food, study material, health insurance, clothing and
so on, may come to about 700 euros (Rs37,922) a month
depending on a university’s location. Metros like Munich are
more expensive than small towns.
Universities have a limited number of scholarship,
offered only to the most outstanding pupils. Other funding
organisations like German Academic Exchange service (DAAD)
may have something to offer, but the funds are meant mostly
for Ph.D and post-doctoral studies.
Without holding as work permit, students are allowed
to work off-campus for up to 90 days or 180 half days (four
hours a day).Many federal states, however, let students job
only during the summer area. There is no restriction on the
number of hours for on-campus jobs, which are in some way or
the other related to a student’s study programme.
Candidates, once selected by institutes, should
approach the German embassy or Consulate, closed to their
residence, along with their passport valid for at least 12
months, two complete sets of application fee of Rs. 1,100,
financial proof or statement for funding (Rs. 3.5 – 4 lakh),
and a health certificate.
The Mission takes up to 12 weeks to process a visa
application and the final decision on the case is known,
only after two months. If a visa is granted, it is initially
valid only for three months. On reaching Germany, the
student will have to visit the Foreigners’ Registration
Office in the city where the university is located and
request that his visa period be extended for the duration of
the study programme.
The German Immigration Law that came into effect on
January 1,2005, has to an extent cut down on the red, and
made Germany more attractive both as a place to study as
well as a place to work. Students are permitted to stay in
Germany for up t a year after completing their degree
programme to search for suitable employment. Once a job in
found, a student may seek conversion of his visa into a work
visa – a German Green card – that allows him to stay for up
to five years in the country.
How to apply
Send your admission application directly to the
selected university or apply through a consortium known as
Uni-assist (earlier called ASSIST) (www.uni-assist.de),
which has 98 member institutions. However, certain
universities, through members of Uni-assist, do not accept
applications via the umbrella organisation.
When to apply
Aspirants should stat looking at options by
January-February and apply by March.
For Indians – who mostly wish to pursue
international degree programmes (delivered throughout or
party in English), application deadline are from March to
May of the year in which admission is sought. You should,
however, check the exact date with your chosen university.
Application processing time
The status of an application is usually communicated
by June or July.
Applicants have to submit their university
application form along with authenticated copies of the
Curriculum Vitae (at times required)
A copy of your passport
SAT / GRE / GMAT score
Statement of purpose, college essay or professional interest
essay (some institutes require it)
Work experience certificates (if required)
Some institutions may also ask candidates to submit
recommendation letters, which should be expressive in
A German education aspirant must have a strong and
impressive educational tack record. His academic background
should be related to the field of study he wishes to pursue
in Germany. There is no harm in sending information on your
extra-curricular activities however, you need not if you
wish. Applications routed through Uni-assist have to be sent
to the consortium’s Germany office, along with a proof of
payment of the processing fee of 55 euros for applying to
the first university and 15 euros extra for every additional
institution you choose.